FC Barcelona has announced that their talisman, Lionel Messi, has sustained a hamstring injury. The setback will affect his potential appearances for Argentina in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers for Russia 2018.

In a statement on their official website, FC Barcelona has confirmed that Lionel Messi has suffered a hamstring injury. However, they did not specify when he got injured, since he seemed perfectly fine during last weekend’s win against Athletic Bilbao. His left hamstring has been specified as the problem area. It appears that the FC Barcelona Medical Services and the Argentinian Football Association have not confirmed the length of time that he needs to be ruled out of competitive play.

The statement shares that despite the injury, Messi is travelling back to South America to join his national team. “The player is travelling to Argentina to join the national team for World Cup qualifying matches at home to Uruguay and away to Venezuela, and his presence in those matches will depend on how the injury develops,” read the statement.

The injury is a major setback for Messi and his national team’s dreams. He had only just been convinced to return to the team after declaring his international retirement over the summer. BBC reported that he made the emotional decision after the team’s second straight loss in a Copa America final. After being begged to return for World Cup duties, his participation is now in doubt due to his hamstring injury.

Lionel Messi is still struggling to find the same level of success with Argentina, as he has achieved with his club. While playing with FC Barcelona, he has won the Spanish La Liga eight times. He has also been part of numerous UEFA Champions League, Copa Del Rey and a multitude of other titles. It remains to be seen if he will be able to achieve national team success before he finally ends his career.